Banks sometimes disregard the RBI circulars and even the pro vision of law, and overcharge consumers or harass them. An aggrieved consumer can fight for his rights and get justice under the Consumer Protection Act.
Case Study: Neelam Pansari had given premises to State Bank of India on lease for a period of five years. Against this, he had also obtained a loan of Rs15 lakh from the bank, which carried interest at 15% pa.The loan was to be repaid by depositing 87% of the rental earned each month. When the lease expired, it was renewed for another five years, but the bank hiked the interest rate on the loan to 16% pa, compounded quarterly .
Pansari wrote to the bank against this increase. The bank replied that the issue had been referred to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and a decision would be taken soon. Meanwhile, Pansari kept paying interest at the increased rate. He later came across a circular issued by the RBI which stated that there would be no change in the interest rate of loans sanctioned prior to November 16, 1990. He informed State Bank about this circular, pointing out that that the change in interest rate was not applicable to him as his loan had been sanctioned on November 5, 1990. Since the State Bank did not respond, Pansari sought a clarification from the Reserve Bank, which confirmed that the revision in interest rate was not permissible.
Pansari pointed out that he had been overcharged Rs 3,01,599.50 due to the increase in the interest rate. Pansari approached the Banking Ombudsman who partly upheld his contention. As Pansari was not happy with the Ombudsman’s decision, he approached the Bihar State Consumer Commission. The bank contested the complaint. It upheld the bank’s contention that while renewing the lease it was entitled to revise the interest rate and also calculate the interest on compound basis with quarterly rests.
Pansari appealed to the National Commission, which observed that RBI had communicated in November 1995 that banks would not be entitled to charge interest at quarterly rests in respect of loans availed for payment of rents of premises taken on lease. The reason for this is that the interest on the loan should not exceed the lease rent. If compound interest is permitted, the expense by way of interest would be more than the income from rent, leaving a landlord in perpetual debt. To prevent such a situation, the RBI has not permitted charging of compound interest for loans against leased premises.
Accordingly, by its order of May 12 delivered by M Shreesha for the bench presided over by Justice D K Jain, the National Commission held State Bank liable for deficiency in service, and ordered it to refund the excess amount of Rs 3,01,599.50 along with simple interest at 9% pa. Additionally Rs10,000 was awarded as litigation costs. Four week’s time was given for compliance of the order, else it would carry 12% interest for the period of delay .
Conclusion: Banks must be service oriented and not harass consumers.
Jehangir B Gai
(The author is a consumer activist and has won the Govt.of India’s National Youth Award for Consumer Protection. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org)
After witnessing the harmful effects of chemical farming, Subash Palekar, a B.Sc in Agriculture, developed the Zero Budget Natural Farming model.
‘Krishi ka Rishi’ is the title farming communities across the country have bestowed on Subhash Palekar. This agriculturist is the creator of the ‘Zero Budget Natural Farming’ model, a method that has been creating waves in the farming community in India.
Palekar was born on 2nd February, 1949 in Belora, a small village in the district of Amravati, Maharastra. The son of a farmer, his interest in farming led him to pursue a B.Sc in Agriculture from Nagpur.
By 1985, however, Palekar began to notice a drop in yield; one that only got worse with each harvest. Curious about the sudden change, he began to look into the reasons for the decline. Three years of intensive research led him to the conclusion that chemical farming was the culprit. Palekar learnt that the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides led to a decrease in the fertility of the soil, wrecked havoc on the ecosystem of the area and also led to long-term health problems for those who consumed the fruits, gains and vegetables harvested under such conditions.
Shocked by the harmful effects of chemical farming, Palekar began the hunt for less-destructive alternatives. Thus began the journey of Zero Budget Natural Farming in India.
IMAGE FOR REPRESENTATION ONLY. SOURCE: FLICKR
From 1986 to 1988, Palekar’s quest for natural farming techniques led him to the study of forest vegetation. It was here that he discovered the natural system at work in forests which allowed them to develop and nurture themselves, while maintaining healthy ecosystems. After careful research of the system, Palekar began to mimic the techniques he had witnessed, in his own farm. For a period of six years, from 1989 to 1995, he experimented and verified different techniques, before consolidating them into the ‘Zero Budget Natural Farming’ technique.
Zero Budget Natural Farming, as the name implies, is a method of farming where the cost of growing and harvesting plants is zero. This means that farmers need not purchase fertilizers and pesticides in order to ensure the healthy growth of crops.
Below are some of key learnings from the Zero Budget Natural Farming method:
It is believed that plants only receive 1.5% to 2% of their nutrient requirements from soil; the remaining is absorbed through water and air. Given that 98% of the nutrients do not come from soil, using fertilizers is not prudent.
We often come across huge trees in forests, their branches heavy with the weight of countless fruit despite the lack of fertilizers and pesticides. These trees are proof that plants can and do grow healthily without any chemical help.
The reason we do not witness the same in our farms is because the micro-organisms that convert raw nutrients into easy-to-digest form have been destroyed by the use of poisonous chemical fertilizers, insecticides and pesticides. Cultivation of soil by tractor has already proved to be detrimental to these micro-organisms.
Since these micro-organisms help convert nutrients into a digestible form that plants can absorb and use, it is critical to revive them in our farms. This can be done by using cow dung from local cows.
Over six years of research, Palekar found that:
1. Only dung from local, Indian cows is effective on the soil. Dung from Jersey and Holstein cows is not as effective. If one is falling short of dung from local cows, one may use dung from bullocks or buffaloes.
2. Dung and urine of the black coloured Kapila cow is believed to be the most effective.
3. To get the most of the cow dung and urine, ensure that the dung is as fresh as possible and that the urine is as old as possible.
4. An acre of land requires 10 kilograms of local cow dung per month. Since the average cow gives 11 kilograms of dung a day, dung from one cow can help fertilize 30 acres of land.
5. Urine, jaggery and dicot flour can be used as additives.
6. The lesser milk the cow gives, the more beneficial its dung is towards reviving the soil.
More than 40 lakh farmers across the country have benefitted greatly from Palekar’s teachings and his method of natural farming. Palekar spends 25 days a month sharing his knowledge of farming through seminar, lectures, workshops and field visits. Chief Ministers of Andhra Pradesh and Kerala have also requested him to spend ten days a month in their states, in order to help their farmers develop healthy farming habits.
In 2016, in recognition of his work and the impact he was creating, the Government of India conferred Palekar with the prestigious Padamashri Award. Palekar also made history for being the first active farmer to receive the award.
Palekar’s Zero Budget Natural Farming has undoubtedly made an indelible mark on farming in India.
If a vehicle requires repeated repairs, one can infer manufacturing defect–establishes the following case.
Case Study: Naryan Thakkar had purchased a Mercedes Benz diesel car, model E 220(211). It was purchased in 2003 for Rs 34,88,105. He also spent Rs1,54,524 to get the vehicle registered.
The vehicle was purchased on July 28, 2003, was covered under a two years’ warranty .Within 18 months of purchase, there was a problem with the turbo charger and the engine mount. As spare parts were not available, the vehicle stood idle for a considerable period, awaiting repairs.
After considerable correspondence, the service representative of Daimler Chrysler, inspected the vehicle at Auto Hanger. He also extended the warranty for a further period of four months. The vehicle continued to give problems.
Thakkar filed a complaint before the Maharashtra State Commission. He pointed out that in another case, taking cognizance of an article published in Times Global Business, which had reported about problems when Mercedes had launched its E Class series in 2002 and faced a barrage of complaints about cars not starting or breakingdown repeatedly , the manufacturer had withdrawn 1.3 million defective cars. Thakkar pointed out that the same treatment was not given to Indian customers. Since the company had failed to replace his car, he sought a refund of Rs 36,42,629, claimed a reimbursement of the interest paid for a bank loan to purchase the car. In addition, he demanded a refund of Rs 20,40,871incurred on repairs of the vehicle and asked for compensation and costs.
Auto Hanger contested the case stating that the service centre is only provided certain spares to cover replacements required due to normal wear and tear. If other parts are required, these have to be procured from the logistics centre located in Pune or have to be obtained from the Regional Centre in Singapore or the global centre in Germany has to supply the parts. So Auto Hanger claimed that it could not be faulted for its inability to replace the parts.
Diamler Chrysler questioned the maintainability of the complaint,contending that the vehicle was used for commercial purpose. It alsotried to attribute the problem to unprecedented floods in July 2005 andtermed this to be a natural disaster for which it could not be heldresponsible. The company stated that the vehicle should be inspected by an approved laboratory at Thakkar’s cost to ascertain if there was any manufacturing defect.
The state commission observed that no evidence was produced to show that the vehicle was being used for commercial purpose. So the complaint was held to be maintainable. Defects had developed during the warranty period, and the complaint was filed within two years. So the complaint was held to be within limitation.
On merits, the commission noted that the defects had even before the deluge of July 2005. Even after replacement of several parts, problems persisted. On December 8, 2006, the manufacturer had noted that the torque converter required replacement. The commission concluded that this established that there was a manufacturing defect in the vehicle, without the necessity of it being examined by a laboratory .
Accordingly, by its order of April 28, delivered by P B Joshi along with D R Shirsao, the state commission held Diamler Chrysler and Auto Hanger jointly liable torefundRs36,42,629paidforthevehicle,alongwith12%interest from February 22, 2007 onwards. Additionally Rs 2 lakh was awarded as compensation and Rs 25,000 towards litigation costs.
Conclusion: Testing is not required as repeated defects establish manufacturing defect.
(The author is a consumer activist and has won the Govt. of India’s National Youth Award for Consumer Protection. His email is email@example.com)
ASCI bans 242 ads, including Snapdeal, Amazon, Idea, ToI, ET Now, Zee, Airtel, Coca-Cola, Dhara, Fair & Lovely, Ponds Age Miracle in February 2017Posted: May 4, 2017
NCH is a project of the Union Ministry of Consumer Affairs operates under the Centre for Consumer Studies at Indian Institute Of Public Administration from The Project recognizes the need of consumers for a Telephone Helpline to deal with multitude of problems arising in their day-to-day dealings with business and service providers.
NCH provides a National Toll Free No–1800-11-4000. SMS can also be sent to +918130009809 (charges apply) mentioning the name and city .
A consumer can call to seek information, advice or guidance for his queries and complaints.
National Consumer Helpline supports consumers by:
– Providing information related to Companies and Regulatory Authorities.
– Facilitating consumers in filing complaints against defaulting Service Providers
– Empowering consumers to use available Consumer Grievances Redressal
Mechanisms, Educating Consumers about their Rights and Responsibilities.
” A Nation of awakened, empowered and responsible consumers and socially and legally responsible Corporations.”
“To provide telephonic advice, information and guidance to empower Indian consumers and persuade businesses to reorient their policy and management systems to address consumer concerns and grievances adopting world class standards.”
When you buy goods and services you are protected by the law – the Consumer Protection Act of 1986.
6 Consumer Rights – Protection for the Consumer...
A division bench of the Bombay High Court has held that the right of succession overrides the rights of a nominee. The bench of Justices AS Oka and AA Sayed have held that the rights of the successors prevail over that of the nominee of a holder of shares or securities appointed under Section 109A of Companies Act, 1953….
Read more and the full judgement at: http://www.livelaw.in/nomination-cannot-override-law-succession-holds-bombay-hc/#.WP96DUHcj5U.whatsapp